Pathophysiology of acidosis in DKA
The unfavorable combination of insulin resistance and counter-regulatory hormones leads to the release of free fatty acids (FFA) from adipose tissue via lipolysis and decreased lipogenesis, which ultimately results in ketogenesis and the production of beta-hydryoxybutyrate and acetoacetate.
Overproduction of these strong ketoacids leads to excessive hydrogen ion production upon dissociation, overwhelming the human body’s buffering capacity, depleting bicarbonate stores, and ultimately generating an anion gap metabolic acidosis
What are other therapies in DKA besides bicarb
- Total potassium content is decreased, but serum potassium concentration may be normal/elevated due to extracellular shift of potassium caused by insulin deficiency, hypertonicity, and acidaemia
- Phosphate levels initially may be normal to elevated, but usually decline with treatment •Severe hypophosphatemia may impair oxygen delivery and cause muscle fatigue •Replacement is suggested in patients with phosphate levels less than 1.0 mg/dL, anemia, respiratory failure, or CHF.
Chua et al. Bicarbonate in Diabetic Ketoacidosis – A Systematic Review. Ann Intensive Care 2011; 1 (23). PMID: 21906367
- systematic review that included 44 articles including three RCTs
What does Hypertonic Sodium Bicarbonate Work For?
- EKG changes and cardiac arrest due to hyperkalemia
- Non-AG acidosis
Related FOAM Posts
- Chua HR, Schneider A, and Bellomo R. Bicarbonate in diabetic ketoacidosis – a systematic review. Annals of Intensive Care 2011, 1:23.
- Duhon B, Attridge RL, Franco-Martinez AC, Maxwell PR, Hughes DW. Intravenous Sodium Bicarbonate Therapy in Severely Acidotic Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Ann Pharmacother 2013;47:970-5.
- Gamba G, Oseguera J, Castrejon M, Gomez-Perez FJ. Bicarbonate therapy in severe diabetic ketoacidosis. A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial. Revista de Investigacion Clinica 1991, 43:234-238
- Morris LR, Murphy MB, Kitabchi AE. Bicarbonate therapy in severe diabetic ketoacidosis. Ann Intern Med. 1986;105(6):836.
- Okuda Y, Adrogue HJ, Field JB, Nohara H, Yamashita K. Counterproductive effects of sodium bicarbonate in diabetic ketoacidosis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1996;81(1):314.
- Hale PJ, Crase J, Nattrass M. Metabolic effects of bicarbonate in the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1984;289(6451):1035.